Emirates Will Launch The World’s Longest Flight

Filed Under: Emirates

Emirates already operates quite a few ultra longhaul flight. Presently Emirates’ longest flight is between Los Angeles and Dubai, which is also the fourth longest flight in the world.


The title for the longest flight in the world belongs to Qantas, with their nonstop A380 flight between Sydney and Dallas, which clocks in at an astounding ~17 hours, covering a distance of 8,578 miles.


Well, it looks like Qantas is about to get the title for world’s longest flight taken away from them.

Via Pilot Aviation News MagazineEmirates will be launching flights between Dubai and Panama City, Panama, as of February 1, 2016. The flight — Emirates’ first service to Central America — will be operated daily by a Boeing 777-200LR, with the following schedule:

EK251 Dubai to Panama City departing 8:05AM arriving 4:40PM
EK252 Panama City to Dubai departing 10:10PM arriving 10:55PM (+1 day)

While Sydney to Dallas is an incredible 8,578 miles, the Dubai to Panama City flight is 8,588 miles, so it wins by just 10 miles!


Emirates’ 777-200LRs are equipped with eight first class suites…


42 business class seats…


And 216 economy class seats.


Not only will this be the longest flight in the world, but it will also make Emirates the first airline to offer daily service with international first class to Panama City.

The article suggests that the flight is already bookable, though that doesn’t seem to be the case as of now. I feel like they may have accidentally leaked this news a bit early, since Emirates hasn’t even put out a press release about it. But given the quotes and level of detail, I feel pretty confident that the info is accurate.

Bottom line

This is a really cool new route on the part of Emirates. Not just because it will be the longest flight in the world, but also because it represents Emirates’ first flight to Central America. It’s amazing how global of an airline Emirates is becoming, especially given that they’ve only been around for 30 years.

What do you make of Emirates’ new flight between Dubai and Panama City?

  1. I think it’s pretty cool though I’m not sure how much a demand there is between PTY and DXB (then again I’m no expert!) 😉 I have read a few interviews where Emirates has expressed a wish to be able to circumnavigate the globe by eventually getting rights to fly trans-pacific flights. Perhaps the way to go is through PTY? Only time will tell.

  2. Now I want to circumnavigate the globe first class just to say I did! So, what’s the best first class experience from SYD to DXB?

  3. Thanks tiffany, I just about pee’d my pants. I tend to wait 1 too many days and once again thought I waited too long. My family, who have zero ability to book their own travel but expect business at worst, kept telling me not to “shaun” their Italy trip…which meant don’t wait too long. One of these days I’m going to book them in coach to Alsbakizskan ( might b a country) and book myself to the Maldives when Ben is there 🙂

  4. Questioning if the demand for this route is really even there…and moreover it just makes you wonder if it’s just another publicity stunt to try to show off? -There is a level to which staying inside a plane is bad for one’s health. The question is can the A380 even make it work and not be either grossly weight restricted and literally coasting on fumes?

  5. Doesn’t make any sense…PTY u need connecting traffic, do they have an agreement with Copa. MEX makes much more sense.

  6. @Tiffany
    I’m in a similar boat as shaun but want to book a 1 way award and just transferred my AMEX points to Delta today. I only want a one way and Virgin Atlantic doesnt show up as one way, only round trip. Is this some type of Glitch?

  7. @ Trup — No idea, this just started happening a few hours ago. I’m guessing it might be bookable by phone, but haven’t had a chance to call and test anything yet. If you do, please let us know!

  8. @tiffany
    I plan on calling tomorrow. I feel like companies dont have their top CSRs working overnight…

  9. Maybe this explains why Lufthansa has been in a dispute with COPA. Lufthansa has been trying to fly to Panama City, but for unknown reasons, their launch date was already delayed. It’s culminated with COPA’s new airline program being unable to redeem or accrue with all Lufthansa flights.

  10. For strategic trade linkage reasons? PTY = Panama Canal, and for emerging market (EM) pax and business clients to avoid flying to Central America through US and European airports (think TSA and immigration/passport control). Either way, I think Emirates is being smart. Even their last addition of MCO as a US destination is very strategic too. Lots of EM pax can get a one-stop to Disneyworld.

  11. I can’t help but wonder if they’re doing this just for bragging rights. However – Any chance of them expanding to other Latin American cities? Or possibly tacking on a fifth freedom route out of Panama to South America?

  12. Latin America with 400MM people and 25 countries, several of which are large and wealthy, has only three flights to Asia. The Pacific is a big place to cross and ETOPS† is a thing, but still that’s miniscule service for two such large and economically active regions.

    The flights are Aeromexico’s MEX-PVG and MEX-NRT runs on shiny 787s and EK’s DUB-SAO line. The AM flights have seasonal high-and-hot problems and often stop in TIJ or MTY on the way, though I expect that to end once the 787s are trusted since their high-and-hot performance is so good.

    A DUB-PTY flight would be a much needed fourth connection and LatAm and Asia would benefit.

    @Nic I expect a flight through MEX might be a better business choice, but MEX is extremely slot constrained by heavy traffic. I watch the planes going by my window one after another all day long without a pause. There are only two parallel runways close together in a heavily populated area in a high mountain ringed valley leading to fast hard descents and takeoffs. Landing fees are very high. O&D traffic from a wealthy city of 22 MM souls saturates the available capacity now. The national government is looking at building a US$14 MMM new airport on stilts in middle of lake Texcoco in the next six years; maybe that one will be able to support hub ops — AM would love to have a hub. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW7s4fLp4EE )

    †”Engines Turn On or Passengers Swim”

  13. What could be the longest flight possible today? I heard that Singapore – New York direct was the longest but what is the longest possible flight with an A380 or 777-200LR or with any other long-range plane?

  14. So why would we want to fly this route? Only reason would be to connect, no? In PTY? Well, maybe availability will be great, so that would be a bonus, but then again it’s only a B772 – no shower;-) I’d rather fly from SEA.

  15. @ Trup — Hah, true, but having the top CSRs isn’t always a perk 😉 From what we’ve seen this evening phone agents can see the space just fine, so it’s just a web display issue at this point.

  16. “Panamá, puente del mudo, corazón del universo.” This came to be as a result of the maritime traffic through its canal. Who foresaw Panama as a hemispheric gateway for flights originating in the middle east? (COPA may be in the market for some 777-8’s in the near future.) Who knows, it may not be long before its position nine degrees north of the equator makes it a commercial gateway to low earth orbit.

  17. @31583: The 772LR has the greatest commercial range to this day of 17,400 km. It could easily handle the Singapore-Newark run.

    It should be noted that the 772LR has flown from Hong Kong to London the long way (that is, over both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans) as a publicity stunt. The 22.5 hour flight flew 21,600 km, albeit with a reduced passenger load of 27 people.

  18. On a personal level, as a Panamanian working and living in Africa, I welcome having another option to visit the homefront. On a macro level, being situated in the heart of the Americas makes Panama an interesting destination for airlines as a gateway to Latin America. I am always surprised to see the KLM and Air France Triple 7’s relatively full on their daily services but, then again, with the second largest free zone in the world, the shipping/logistics activity, the infrastructure work going on such as the 2nd metro line, and an increasing share of the worldwide tourism industry, perhaps my surprise is misplaced ☺

  19. Panama makes a lot of sense because;
    – Less Visa restrictions ( almost no restrictions ) for Citizens of Emerging Nations
    – Plenty of connections to central and South America from Copa ( try getting to Peru from Dubai/Middle east or Asia and you will know what I am talking about )
    – tiresome TSA procedures for connections can be avoided

  20. @ Owen: with “EK’s DUB-SAO line” you are referring to the Dubai-Sao Paulo (GRU) route? Well, at least EK also operates a daily flight from DXB to Buenos Aires (EZE) via Rio (GIG).
    The general problem with flights between Latin America and Asia probably lies within the loooong distances on those routes which in combination with probably not-so-big demand seem not to justify many non-stop flights. But hey, there are zero nonstop routes between Europe and Australia as well (and the actual distance of a FRA-SYD flight would be even shorter than between GRU/GIG/EZE and PEK/PVG/HKG/ICN/NRT/HND)…

  21. Great idea. It can be very difficult to get to Central America as many options require transiting USA immigration. Assuming a deal with copa, this should work for them

  22. I think the problem local PTY traffic is small, so most people will be connecting in PTY and the in DXB. How is that better than a one stop through USA or Europe?

  23. What’s interesting is that Saudia currently claims that they have the world’s longest flight between LAX and RUH.

  24. I think this is a great idea. Panama City is quite a cosmopolitan city and is much more wealthy and modern than the other Central American capitals. The Panama Canal makes it a big center for international trade and there is a growing South Asian population.

    I could see PTY->DXB->DEL being a lot easier than PTY->EWR->DEL on United for example (not to mention Emirates just being a better airline)

    If KLM, Lufthansa, TAP and Iberia can all support regular service to PTY than certainly Emirates can.

  25. Still can’t fly Emirates for the same reason I can’t visit Dubai. UAE is a kingdom built and maintained with slave labor. This is the same as the US and other places… but it’s 2015 and is inexcusable.

  26. This flight makes perfect sense. I’m most certain there will be lots of Asian traffic on this flight, just to avoid having go through the States. People who need visas to the US won’t have to get one and the best part is not dealing with TSA.

    I imagine the cargo demand being there as well. However, I wonder if this flight will be weight restricted??

  27. very strategic move for EK, PTY and COPA.

    More explanation here:


  28. Fun fact – the longest schedule commercial flight, by duration, was the QANTAS Double Sunrise service in the 1940s. Using Catalina seaplanes, the trip between Crawley, Western Australia, and Ceylon took up to 33 hours non-stop! It had to fly in radio silence and at night over Japanese controlled areas to avoid being shot down.

  29. @ Owen: there is a few more flights to Asia:

    GRU-DOH by Qatar;
    GRU-AUH by Etihad; and
    EZE-DXB by Emirates (stops in GIG), as mentioned above.

    And with one stop:

    GRU-SIN by Singapore Airlines (stops in BCN);
    GRU-ICN by Korean (stops in LAX); and
    GRU-PEK by Air China (stops in MAD).

  30. Emirates cabin crew don’t get enough sleep on the Dubai to Los Angeles flight as it is. I wonder if emirates will give the crew more rest or get them to work more with less rest…not looking forward to my friends comments on this flight…ex EK crew

  31. If I did happy dances, I’d be a dancin’ machine.

    Spoke to a couple of CM contacts — they would only say that there will be an announcement “soon”. They also alluded to EK signing a major contract “for the belly” and that CM would likely be handling the logistics. Who knows? Latinos love chismos (rumors)!

    Two immediate thoughts — will AS let us book these flights? And where the heck are they going to put a lounge? The Copa Club (nee United Club nee President’s Club) is a dump. I guess they could throw some of the “restaurants” out of the food court but then we’d be back to starving during connections and irrops.

  32. @31583 If I’m not wrong, I believe London-Sydney is just barely flyable with a 777-200LR at MTOW, difference of just under 300 km, but it does mean the viability depends heavily on wind speed, passenger load and direction.

  33. This comment section is full of people talking without knowing anything. Just the Internet I guess.
    First of all, you wrote in the article that Emirates didn’t confirm. And it’s true. But Panamá’s President tweeted about this yesterday and confirmed it.
    To the people saying they don’t get it: well now you can fly from Asia to the entire American continent connecting trough Copa without the USA Visa restrictions and TSA. Copa is an excellent airline with 92+% on time flights and good service. Plus is less than 7 hours from Panama to anywhere in America.

  34. Emirates starting from 31 march, flight from dubai to panama.let us see can they make a longest flight. thats a very good decition for them.now they make easy to travel from panama to other destination, bcz lot of nation need the usa transit visa and that is very diffucult.its not fair to getung one visa then must look for another visa, wasteing time, money and energy. last year I couldn’t travel to cuba bcz i need another transit visa. so I change my mind so hopefully lot of people can fly easily.thanks emirates

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